Francesca is a small business owner and Mum to our Social Media Strategist in Sydney, Alex! She is a yoga lover, avid reader and lives in New South Wales’ Central West. This is her lockdown travel story.
My small town of Bathurst, New South Wales isn’t the place that I’m from but it is where I happily call home. Over the last twenty years I’ve watched with delight as the town has grown, in every sense of the word. 2020’s isolation found my husband and I at home on our own for a long stretch, and it’s reminded us when we love about this place.
(Image: Fernery in Machattie Park by Merryjack)
I’ll begin at the beginning; one of our first stops when we arrived in this sweet country town in 1998 was Machattie Park and it’s still one of my favourite spots today. It’s an impressive 19th century Victorian design and around every corner is something to explore. Unfortunately, the Begonia House and Fernery in Machattie Park (perhaps the most famous feature and a beautiful and memorable walk through the fragrant blooms) is still closed due to COVID-19 restrictions but even so, the park itself has provided us with much-needed respite.
(Image: Francesca's own)
Since we’ve been slowly emerging from lockdown here in NSW, we’re lucky enough to be able to visit some of our old favourites once again. Abercrombie House, Bathurst’s finest historic mansion home, has reopened with social distancing and additional hygiene measures. You can escape into the expansive gardens (with a takeaway coffee in hand from the coffee shop) and take a self-guided tour of the house.
(Image: Abercombie House from the
Western Advocate's website)
I don’t think I’d be alone in admitting that 2020 has challenged me. Over the last couple of months in particular I’ve been attempting to eliminate stress and to help deal with unavoidable stresses. My friend Jan owns PranaYoga where she runs classes in vinyasa, yin and restorative yoga, meditation and tai chi as well as soundhealing workshops and yoga retreats. Last year I’m so glad I joined Jan on a very special retreat to Bali and although this year all of PranaYoga’s international retreats have been cancelled, I’ve been participating in the free community yoga in Machattie Park (perfect to keep a social distance.)
(Image: Francesca's own, Doppio Café)
All that fresh air and exercise gives way to a daily coffee, you’ll usually find me in Doppio’s at Tremain’s Mill. It’s the perfect spot for a coffee and a sweet treat and the service here is second to none. Sometimes, a sweet piccolo is dropped into my hands if there’s a wait on my usual flat white.
2020 has definitely not been the year I expected, but it’s certainly forced me to slow down and to take in and enjoy my local surrounds.